Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan to monitor greenhouse gases

PRECIOUS INSIGHTS Given the economic might of the Asia-Pacific region and its attendant pollution, the new mechanism will plug the gap in global monitoring

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan will soon launch the Pacific Greenhouse Gases Measurement (PGGM) project, an international initiative that will provide valuable insights into the extent of climate change, the National Science Council (NSC) said at a press conference yesterday.

“This is an exciting moment for Taiwan,” said project leader Wang Kuo-ying (王國英), a professor at National Central University’s department of atmospheric sciences.

Global warming is the most serious challenge to the human race this century, Wang said, adding that “observation of the atmosphere would be the first step by which scientists can understand the actual extent and impact of greenhouse gas density increases and the resulting climate change.”

Prior to Taiwan’s participation, Japan and the EU launched separate projects in the early 1990s to observe global greenhouse gas movement patterns, using advanced air monitoring equipment fitted onto commercial airplanes, Wang said.

Taiwan’s PGGM will bridge the two large-scale projects by collaborating with Japan and the EU. The PGGM will therefore become the largest global warming observatory effort in the world and will complement the existing projects in important ways, Wang said.

“Starting next summer, the university will bring the NSC, the Environmental Protection Administration, as well as two commercial partners [China Airlines (CAL) and Evergreen Marine Corp], under the same umbrella to monitor and provide the world with helpful information on the carbon transport cycle in the northern Pacific,” Wang said.

While Europe’s In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) and its predecessor, Measurements of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus In-Service Aircraft (MOZAIC), have been in operation since 1993, they have lacked data from the northern Pacific Ocean as well as the southern hemisphere, Wang said.

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